Sunday, May 25, 2014

HERO Updates, Notes and News-May 25

We are in the middle of the Memorial Day weekend and counting down to that marathon May 28 council meeting that will hopefully result in us celebrating the addition of Houston to the long list of cities that protect the human rights of all their citizens.

The Houston Newsmakers show segment that Amelia and I taped Thursday aired this morning at 10 AM.   I'll post the video for it in a future HERO update when it becomes available. 

I took some time before the Trans Town Hall to go attend the Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr statue and plaza unveiling and dedication that started at 11 AM.   Unfortunately the speechifying dragged on so long that when I left a little after 1 PM civil rights warrior Rev Dr. Joseph Lowery was just getting to the mic.

In addition to Rev. Lowery, Martin Luther King III was there along with Houston based US Reps Sheila Jackson-Lee and Rep Al Green, Councilmembers C.O. Bradford, Dwight Boykins and Michael Kubosh, and local civil rights legend Rev William Lawson.   Many of us from Team Pass The HERO were there in full effect to watch the historic event.

With the unveiling of the statue, Houston is now one of three US cities (Atlanta and Washington DC are the others) with statues and plazas dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. 

I ended up at Grace Lutheran Church a little before 3 PM for the town hall in which we were graced with the presence of Councilmember Ellen Cohen and Councilmember Dwight Boykins.   Both were given  standing ovations by those of us in attendance and given an opportunity to speak    

Councilmember Cohen had just finished speaking on MSNBC about the HERO and took time out of her busy day to check out our event before she had to leave for another one.  

Photo: Pleased that Council Members Dwight Boykins and Ellen Cohen attended, spoke, and answered questions at the HERO Trans Town Hall. #HEROCouncilmember Boykins answered the assembled crowd's questions and listened attentively to our concerns about the HERO.

We made the point that for the TBLG community, this is intensely personal and these are our very lives and human rights we are fighting for. 

I also let him know on behalf of the African-American community I was not happy about the continued demonization of trans people by Rev. Max Miller and friends that has now filtered down to street level.  I've also been bothered by the silence of many African-American leaders and the local NAACP about it. 

Since I mentioned it, here's the video of Councilmember Cohen's MSNBC appearance 

FYI  Councilmember Boykins, Houston NAACP and other African-American political/community leaders and institutions.  The offer I and others made to do Trans 101 for you and your orgs still stands.
The town hall was facilitated by Daniel Williams of Equality Texas and featured a trans historic first.  This town hall was the first event jointly sponsored by the Houston Chapters of Black Transmen, Inc and Black Transwomen, Inc  

And based on some of the chococentric anti-trans ignorance running rampant in the African-American community that was unleashed by the faith-based haters, BTMI-Houston and BTWI-Houston are going to be quite busy rolling it back and getting the truth of our trans lives out there..  

Speaking of chocolate flavored anti-trans ignorance, here's an example of the uphill battle that Tye and I as the chairs of the BTMI and BTWI Houston chapters will have combating the lies as we seek to build allies and educate our African-American community on trans issues.

Demetria Y. Smith for City Council - District DThis is a screenshot of a comment from Demetria Smith, who was one of the 12 candidates who ran in the recent 2013 city election cycle for the District D seat now occupied by Councilmember Boykins.    

Demetria, when you repeat ignorant statements that are proven transphobic lies about my trans community, that's a problem.    

Will be interesting to discover if we have more trans bigot eruptions and hate sermons epicentered on Second Baptist and Grace KKKomunity Church

The struggle the pass the HERO continues.

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